The digital sales cycle has dramatically changed how customers shop. Not only are there more pathways for customers to find your brand, but they’re also less reliant on branded content to form an opinion. Instead, customers are seeking out information on their own, conducting research before they contact your brand.
In fact, according to Hubspot, 60% of the sales cycle is over by the time your sales team actually gets involved in the process. This means that the role of both sales and marketing has changed drastically in the digital age.
Unfortunately, not every company has adjusted its processes for this shift.
The biggest problem with marketing and sales is silos. Traditionally, marketing and sales were separated into two different departments and worked independently of each other. Also known as the Silo Effect, this compartmentalization prevents your team from actually working together.
In the digital age, it’s necessary to move quickly and reduce barriers to communication. Silos present a big threat to SaaS companies looking to scale over time.
Silos lead to inconsistent customer experience, rework, internal friction, and wasted opportunity. Because sales and marketing are often working to the same end, it doesn’t make sense to separate them from each other.
To stay relevant, deliver a better customer experience, and close more deals, tear down the silos and embrace “smarketing.”
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is what happens when you combine marketing and sales into one team. This involves combining the two funnels into a singular process.
The main source of friction between the two departments is the handoff of leads from marketing to sales. Too often the different teams drop the ball because of a system failure, or they can’t close a deal because they don’t have relevant information.
With smarketing, both sales and marketing work towards the same goal with less confusion.
Smarketing doesn’t just clarify processes and roles internally. Some companies have seen as much as a 20% increase in revenue by removing marketing-sales silos.
With smarketing, you can increase conversion rates by 50%, improve retention rates, and decrease lead time. And when you combine smarketing with automation, the numbers get even better.
How to Break Down Silos with Smarketing
Your brand stands to gain a lot by eliminating silos. Marketing and sales want the same thing for your business: more revenue. Use these steps to build a framework for sales and marketing to work together on their goals.
1. Service-level agreements
Service-level agreements, or SLAs, outline exactly how sales and marketing will work together. This in-depth document outlines:
- Job descriptions
- Customer personas
- Definitions of lead, prospects, conversions, etc.
- Success metrics for both sales and marketing
- Handoff processes
An SLA only works when your teams understand and implement it. Instead of accepting their compartmentalized job description, they need to understand how the smarketing process works as a whole. This will help people escape the “marketing versus sales” mentality that leads to harmful silos.
SLAs ensure that both teams are on the same page. It’s essentially a playbook for how sales and marketing will work together.
Evaluate your SLA once a year, or as needed. If possible, use a tool like Funnelfly to automate the SLA and integrate it into your procedures. Automation optimizes your employees’ time and encourages faster adoption.
2. Set shared goals
Marketing and sales should be the same department for smarketing to work. Ideally, the team members would work in close proximity. If that’s not possible, they need standing meetings to chat between themselves as a team.
Feedback, goals, and iterations are so important in the early days of smarketing. During these meetings, agree on the KPIs you’ll use to measure success for both marketing and sales.
Use this as an opportunity to evaluate your funnel, too. Are there any opportunities for you to automate tasks? Increase customer subscriptions? Decrease costs or time spent? You’ll find better solutions when both marketing and sales work together.
It’s crazy how much the quality of your brainstorming sessions will improve when sales and marketing create solutions together. Use proximity and time as a strategy for tearing down the silos.
3. Embrace shared content
Traditionally, sales focused on outbound strategies while marketing focused on inbound. While that’s still true for the most part, both sales and marketing can benefit from the power of content.
Inbound marketers often use content to direct users to your SaaS website. It’s a great tool to bring more customers into your funnel.
However, content is also effective for sales as a tool to bring customers deeper into your funnel. For example, you can send a case study or testimonial to persuade a lead to convert into a sale.
Let sales and marketing brainstorm about content together. What marketing is writing should plug in to what sales is doing.
Try to use the same writers so there’s consistency in style and tone. Align every piece of content with customer personas, business goals, and a funnel stage.
By doing so, your content will actually give a return on the KPIs that matter most to your team. Instead of cranking out mindless content that might work, build something better with smarketing.
4. Set up a customized process for your company
Tools like Funnelfly make your smarketing automation easier. But to get the most out of your tools, you need to have an idea of your process before going in.
Consider restructuring your business. People don’t like the sound of “restructuring,” but all it means in this context is grouping team members together by workflow instead of by department.
For example, you might create a team that solely deals with enterprise SaaS accounts. This team would include sales, marketing, IT, and customer service solely for enterprise SaaS accounts.
Seat the teams together so they can work more deeply and efficiently based on their specialization. Create automated workflows for each team to get the most out of your tools.
If restructuring isn’t possible, consider Agile processes. While Agile is often used for software development, the methodology also works for smarketing. Agile builds a more collaborative culture with less bureaucracy, encouraging creativity and breaking down silos.
5. Automated tools
After you outline a smarketing process, it’s time to digitize and automate it with tools like Funnelfly.
Automation and tools can make the difference between smarketing and chaos. Tools help your team see where they fit into the overal funnel. They give marketing and sales more clarity about process, next steps, and KPIs.
Remember, tools aren’t a substitute for a good process. Outline your process before you sit down to map it out in your software.
But while the process is the most important aspect, you still need to digitize and automate to give your team more time, better communication, and improved accountability.
Use collaborative tools that encourage better communication and reduce friction. For example, automatic scheduling, reports and shared dashboards keep sales and marketing on the same page. Best of all, Funnelfly’s dashboards update in real-time so your team is always in the loop.
The Bottom Line
You need results for your SaaS business. While it’s tempting to separate sales and marketing, these departments need to work together to get the best results. Smarketing integrates sales and marketing in one, unified approach.
Remove internal friction, improve the customer experience, and close more SaaS subscriptions. Say bye bye to the silos of traditional marketing and hello to smarketing.